McKenzie, Julia
March 15, 2007 05:57PM
1844-1943" by Wendell H. Rone. Probably published in 1944 by
Messenger Job Printing Co., Inc., Owensboro, Kentucky, pp. 429-430.
Used by permission. [Daviess]

MISS JULIA McKENZIE: Miss Julia McKenzie was the first person to go
to a Foreign Mission field from the Daviess County Baptist
Association. The crowning glory of her useful life was that she
served for more than twenty years as a missionary of the Foreign
Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention in the Republic of
Miss McKenzie was born at Hardinsville, Boone County, Kentucky,
on September 4, 1863, and was the daughter of Dr. D. W. and Sarah
McKenzie, her father being one of the noted physicians of the State
at that time. Her education was of the best and at about the age of
thirty she came to Owensboro, Kentucky, and secured a position as
stenographer and bookkeeper for the F. A. Ames Company. She quickly
proved herself so wonderfully efficient that she soon became the
confidential friend and adviser for the whole concern.
She was not a professing Christian at this time, nevertheless,
she attended the services at the First Baptist Church, of which Dr.
Fred D. Hale was pastor. Although she was intensely fond of dancing,
she always said that she was converted as a result of listening to
one of Fred Hale's characteristic dancing sermons. After uniting
with the First Baptist Church she organized a large class of boys in
the Sunday School and began active work in the Church.
It was not long after her conversion until she felt called of
the Lord to dedicate her life to Him as a missionary. Mr. Ames and
the other heads of the concern for whom she was working offered her a
much larger salary if she would only remain with them. They also
told her that she was too frail and would die in heathen lands, away
from home and friends. It was all to no avail. When her employer
saw that she was determined to go, they gave her several hundred
dollars and a gold watch toward her equipment. On the recommendation
of her Church she received an appointment from the Foreign Mission
Board of the Southern Baptist Convention to work in China. She
sailed on October 30, 1894.
For some time after her arrival in China she was connected with
the work in Chinkiang [sic]. Sometime about the year 1903 she was
transferred to Yangchow, where, in 1905, she opened the Yangchow
Girls Academy. This school is still functioning and is known as the
Julia McKenzie Memorial School. Her work was primarily among the
women and girls and she succeeded to an eminent degree in this work
in spite of many trying circumstances. Her deep interest in and her
ability in the use of the Bible was one of her greatest assets. She
maintained a women's Bible Class in connection with her school work
for many years. Miss Catherine Bryan and Miss Mary Moorman were her
associates for some time.
During her stay in China she made one or two trips home on
furlough. Largely through her devotion and enthusiasm, she did more
perhaps than anyone else to create a great missionary spirit among
the Churches of this Association. This will account no doubt for the
fact that this Association has been among the leading Associations of
the State in its gifts to missions throughout the years.
As has been previously stated, Miss McKenzie went out as a
missionary from the First Baptist Church. When the Church divided
over the liquor question, in 1896, and the pastor and others went out
to organize the Third Baptist Church she moved her membership to this
Church and immediately was supported by them until the close of her
labors in China.
Several years before her death her health began to fail. In
the fall of 1915 she suffered a nervous collapse from which she never
fully recovered. The Mission Board soon ordered her to return to
America. She sailed from Hongkong, China, for San Francisco,
California, on March 17, 1916, and arrived in Owensboro, Kentucky,
on May 9th. Upon her arrival she was taken to the city hospital
where she was given the best of medical attention. She had become so
weakened that no aid could be rendered other than to afford temporary
relief. Finally, on September 14, 1916, she succumbed to a
complication of diseases brought on by her strenuous work, self-
denial, and consecrated devotion to her Master and Lord.
Her funeral was conducted from the Third Baptist Church by the
pastor, Rev. Sam P. Martin, assisted by Revs. E. E. Bomar and R. F.
Doll, pastors of the First and Walnut Street Churches respectively.
She was laid to rest in the Rose Hill Cemetery where an imposing
monument marks her last resting place. The Chinese students who come
to this country from Yangchow have invariably had a great desire to
visit her grave and have done so when opportunity afforded.
Besides being such a splendid Bible scholar, Miss McKenzie knew
a great deal about medicine and household arts. These were great
assets to her work among the women. She was also a brilliant
conversationalist, and might have made a name for herself along.
literary lines; but her all was devoted untiringly to the cause of
the Lord Jesus Christ. "She being dead yet speaketh" in inspiring
the young men and young women of this Association to consecrate
themselves to the cause of Christ. None can read her unselfish life
without being vitally impressed.

McKenzie Hale Ames Bryan Moorman Martin Bomar Doll
Boone China

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